One of the biggest challenges of being a solopreneur is staying on top of everything it takes to run your business. In addition all the tasks and planning you need to do, you somehow need to stay on top of your industry and relevant trends as well. What’s a busy solopreneur to do?
One of my solutions is to use Google Alerts. This is a free service from Google that lets you set up a list of words or phrases that Google will watch for and let you know when they pop up in the news, on blogs or in other media. Google will then send you an email with a link to the article. You can specify some parameters for when you get the alert emails so that it’s convenient for you.
What can you use this for? For starters, you can use it to stay on top of what’s being said about and happening in your industry. You can watch what people who do similar or complementary work are writing about. You can stay on top of trends that effect your industry, bigger economic trends or regional trends. Get alerts about your hometown or current city, past schools or former employers. Learn about new finds in health and medicine, fashion trends or science discoveries. Follow the latest exploits of your favorite housewife, bachelor, contestant, celebrity rehab guest or big brother. Keep up with your favorite sports star, sports team, politician, political party or current event. In short, use Google Alerts to get notified whenever something is written about something important to you.
I recommend that all solopreneurs have at least a few Google Alerts set up so they can stay on top of what’s important to them. Start with a few keywords about your business or industry and make sure to have an alert for name (including alternate spellings) as well. Why have an alert for you name? Obviously it’s important to know whenever something is written about you. The alert will give you timely notice so you can respond or thank the author, share it with your community and use it to build your credibility. I’ve had articles of mine picked up by other websites and I would never have known it had it not been for Google Alerts.
Google Alerts is a huge timesaver that lets you stay on top of what’s important in your industry. You’ll be able to better serve your clients and be more of an expert with this automated tool doing the finding for you.
Do you use Google Alerts? What do you have the service look for? How do you use what you find? Share it in the comments.